Describing projects that are simple and stunning is easy, you say: “this project is simple and stunning.” But this terse testimony isn’t very exciting for people that want to learn more about the project. So this simple and stunning project is Casa D designed by WMR Arquitectos. Built on a bluff overlooking the ocean in Matanzas, Chile, the blocky massing of the beach abode is made more dynamic by the composition of the cut-outs on each exterior face. The interior creates more dynamic spaces by cutting the upper floor diagonally in half, leaving half open and enclosing a bedroom and bathroom in the other half. So even though the organization and the origination of the plan are straightforward, the volumetric experience is unique. Part of that experience is the incredible view out of the windows, and this house does not distract the gaze or diminish the view of folks lucky enough to find themselves inside this place.
So maybe it’s not simple, but it is stunning.
Click images to enlarge
I don’t think I’ve wanted to be 4 years old so badly in my life than right now as I look over this beautiful “building” by Yui and Takaharu Tezuka. It’s called Rind Around A Tree, and it’s a small and completely unique kindergarten in Fuji, Japan. The story around this tree though is almost more intriguing than the space itself:
Planted more than 50 years ago, the Zelkova in the Fuji Kindergarten was hit by a typhoon and almost uprooted. The tree dried out completely but recovered despite general disbelief. Older residents of the area remember this Zelkova because it was the only tree to be used by children for climbing and games even before there was a kindergarten.
The idea of the space is that it lets little minds (and bodies) run free. There aren’t even chairs in the space, just simple, cylindrical pieces of wood that act as seating. Overall the space has six floor, though most of those are made for the children. I feel like all children should have the ability to experience a learning environment like these. I know a 4 year old Bobby would have created so many creative adventures in a space like that.
Found through Domus
Is it just me, or have automobile museums been enjoying a surge in popularity? Fancy, European places got the first automobile museums dedicated to luxury brands like Mercedes and BMW. At first I thought the trend was just a friendly (albeit expensive) competition among the european luxury brands. Now, even the U.S. has opened its own automobile museum dedicated not to Ford or GM, but to the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Back in fancy Europe, the National Automobile Museum has opened an addition designed by Cino Zucchi.
Imagine that the new project resurfaces the old one, adding new bits and pieces of infrastructure under a wall of glass that rounds the corners the way a car might: making curves. The glass is fritted to have these difference transparencies so that when the project is lit at night, an traces of hierarchy dissolve into an undulating ribbon punctuated at random by brighter lights. It’s almost frenetic. Inside, the newly-enclosed courtyard uses the wavy walls to a different effect, making a space much more calm than the exterior.
This project accommodates a wide array of functions, everything from skateboarding to tightrope walking, but what exactly is it? It seems a bit inarticulate to call a project like the Merida Factory Youth Movement by Selgas Cano a building, because, even though it is built, it does much more than act as single building. Maybe it’s better to call it a constructed body covered by a luminous canopy, or an assemblage of programmatic volumes without air conditioning. Whatever we call it, the kids in Merida, Spain are lucky to have such a great-looking place to assemble, skate and tightrope walk. The architects are also lucky to have Iwan Baan photograph the space and make it look as great as it does. Not that they need help! It’s just that his photos are always excellent.
I’ll admit to being more that a little biased when it comes to the work of JDS Architects: I used to work there. However, this didn’t keep me from finding the firm’s old website obnoxious and cumbersome. Gladly, the firm has a refreshing new website that is easy to navigate, stuffed full of shiny new projects and keeps with the attitude of the firm’s work. To accompany the launch of the new website, JDS has made an introductory video about the firm. The pictures above the video here are all from the newer projects posted on the updated site.
In keeping with the firm’s presentation style, I feel urged to simply instruct you. 1: Click Here. 2: View Projects 3: Enjoy.